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# lab04 - The Physics of Light Sound LAB 04 MASS-SPRING...

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The Physics of Light & Sound Introduction Systems which involve restorative forces such as an elastic band or a spring can oscillate with simple harmonic motion. As the system moves back and forth, energy is converted between potential and kinetic repeatedly. A mass attached to the end of a spring is one of the simplest examples of this type of system. If a mass is attached to the end of a spring and the spring is then either stretched or compressed, in the absence of other forces acting on the system, the mass will oscillate back and forth past the equilibrium position with an amplitude equal to the original compression. In this lab we will study the simple mass-spring system. Formulae The restoring (elastic) force in an elastic material is: F elastic = -k x (1) Where x is the deformation of the elastic material and k is the spring constant - a characteristic of the material and/or shape of the spring. The SI unit for the spring constant k is N/m. Note the minus sign in Eq. (1).

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